Growing up I always felt like we were all supposed to have our lives figured out by the time we got to college, or at the latest after our freshman year. In fact, I always thought I knew what I wanted to do with my life probably from 6th grade on. My plan was to go to school for architecture, graduate, become an architect, get married, and start a family. That was pretty much the checklist. As I grew older, however, I discovered that, for me, college was the time in my life when I actually started to figure out what I wanted to do with my life; and much of it was changing from the original plan. I started to take notice of what real life in my career path was. I started to compare that with what I wanted in my life when it’s all said and done. I’m not so sure I liked the results.
People always say “give it time.” Like time is all we need to make sure everything in our lives will work out; like with time, we can discover everything we’ll ever need to know. I think now I understand this phrase on a level deeper than I ever thought possible. Without time, there is no thought; and without thought, there’s no way we can make good decisions. We have to think things through before we act; or we will if we’re smart. It amazes me what God can make comforting with time. He can comfort the loss of a loved one, He can transform a heart. In my life, God gave me comfort with His plan for my life. About a year ago, I started the adventure of lisening. I started to listen to God more than speak to him; and I started to understand His plan. I started to feel God calling my life towards a different direction. Towards a direction of service and sacrifice. Towards a direction that would require me to do things that I was not gifted in. I was confused. I always thought God wanted me to serve him with my success; and I always thought that success was made mostly through my decisions. I was wrong.
God had been calling me towards ministry in him; and I had no idea where or what. I thought about things constantly; trying to map out how God would work in my life like I was writing my life into a screenplay. I was so naive. I had it all planned out: I would transfer to a Christian school, get a degree in an area of ministry, and God would take over from there. The only thing I didn’t realize was that God doesn’t have an accredited university; and His plan doesn’t involve security. It involves risk and action. It involves possible rejection, and possible greatness. I just need to trust that God will carry me where I need to go, and good will come from following His path.
This most recent semester, I started to feel that call again; except this time school was going well, and I was actually liking plan number one. I kept pushing God’s plan aside, yet praying for it to happen, all at once. I kept listening, but never started acting. During this semester, I started to feel a call while on a trip to California, visiting a church plant. This church plant was not a large church plant, and it was probably the most casual church I’ve ever been to. It was in a big, open room, with couches spread all around. It was a space for friendship; a space that was non-threatening; a space that could be used to maximum potential.
While in this space, I felt God’s plan for my life. I felt as if God wanted me to do something of the sort in my community; something to benefit where I’m at in life. This is when I really started thinking. I read a book while all this was going on about a writer editing his life into a movie. The writer had to learn all about story in order to make a good movie, and in doing so, he had to start living a story in order to make a good life. I felt this opportunity was a chance for me to start my story. I started to think about all the people in the Laramie community that were away from God, and all the people who’d found God and where these people spend their time. I started to think about all the college experiences I’ve had in life with christians, and those experiences with non-christians, and I really couldn’t remember spending much time intermingling the two groups. I started to imagine what it would look like to open a space for christians and non-christians alike to spend time; a place that didn’t bible-thump, but a place that just loved people for who they were; a place where christian examples could be present to show people what true love is and how to experience it. I wanted a place that escaped the stereotypes of the church: the ways people view the church as judgemental and unforgiving; a place filled with hypocrites.
I want to create a space where people can get together, regardless of their differences, and love each other. I want to create a space where people can get to know each other and create relationships with one another. Through this, I feel, much can be acheived. Us as Christians need to suggest more than proclaim; we need to suggest God to people because we love those people; and in order for those suggestions to hold, people need to love those suggesting. People need to know that we as Christians only do what we do through love.
I’ve been praying a lot lately that God would strengthen me and give me the words to say to tell people of God’s plans for my life. I’ve been praying that He guide me along the way to make these plans a reality; that He’d help me get the story started. Two weeks ago I never would have felt a way for Him to do these things would be through an internet blog. God works in mysterious ways. Even when I started writing today I was going to write about our uncertainties in life, and ended up writing about God’s plans. The truth is, I’m probably going to need a lot of help from God, and the people around me, in order for this to come to fruition, but hey, God works in mysterious ways